Circuito de Jerez
|Location||Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia, Spain|
|Time zone||GMT +1|
|Major Events||Formula One
Spanish Grand Prix
European Grand Prix
Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix
|Circuit Length||4.428 km (2.751 mi)|
|Lap Record||1:23.135 ( Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Williams, 1997)|
Circuito de Jerez is a Spanish race track near Jerez de la Frontiera. It opened on December 8, 1985, and started holding motorcycling events and the Spanish Grand Prix in Formula One. The race was held in Jerez until 1990, since the circuit was in a remote (rural) area, and the Spanish Grand Prix was moved to Circuit de Catalunya in 1991.
However, in 1994, when the Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez was not finished for it's grand prix, known as the Argentine Grand Prix, Jerez hosted the European Grand Prix that year. As well, a chicane was added in Turn 11 to slow down the cars and to avoid possibly fatal (deadly) accidents, such as the one suffered by Roland Ratzenberger at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. The European Grand Prix returned in 1997, this time being the final race of the season, and the championship was going to be decided between Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve. However, during the podium celebrations, Jerez's Mayor Pedro Pacheco disrupted the podium celebrations by presenting a trophy that was supposed to be presented by a dignitary from Daimler-Benz, which was related to Mercedes, an engine supplier who won the race. This incident resulted on the track being temporarily banned from hosting a Grand Prix. It has never hosted another Grand Prix, but still holds winter testing during the pre-season, and still remains very popular.
As of 2010, the circuit still holds the Spanish Motorcycle Grand Prix, and has done so since 1990.